Sunday morning coming down

I saw three shows over the past week. Last weekend I saw the Belfast Cowboys, a 20-year-old Minneapolis group I had not heard of before. This week I saw the Todd Rundgren/Daryl Hall show at the State Theater. They played to a packed house. Both Rundgren and Hall appear to have tapped into the fountain of youth. I thought to myself, I’ll have what he’s having (what they’re having).

The following night I saw Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde doing a modified version of Asher’s “memory show” (as he calls it). The original version of the “memory show” is astounding in its own way, and Jeremy Clyde is drinking from the same fountain as Rundgren and Hall, but it was disappointing by comparison with the original Peter Asher memory show.

Of the three shows, I enjoyed the Belfast Cowboys most, perhaps because it most exceeded expectations. A nine-piece group, they have found a niche performing the Van Morrison songbook. They opened their set with “Looking for the Northern Lights.” I thought it sounded uncannily like a Van song, but knew it wasn’t. It was written by guitarist Terry Walsh. It conveys Van’s characteristic spiritual aspirations to perfection.

“Cleaning Windows” is one of my favorite Van Morrison songs. I included a live version here in my Sunday Morning tribute to Van’s work this past August. I love how Van name checks his musical heroes in the song. The Cowboys have worked up a “Minneapolis version” that draws on the local scene.

Walsh mentioned that their recording of Van’s “Days Like This” had racked up more than 1,000,000 listens on Spotify. He was proud of it (in an understated Minnesota way). I think that’s quite an accomplishment.

“Hard Working and Poor” is another Terry Walsh original.

“Redwood Tree” comes from Van’s St. Dominic’s Preview album.

I loved their live show. My only purpose here is to introduce the group to those who might enjoy them. You can check them out on YouTube and Spotify.

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